Need advice on Kayak paddle purchase

-- Last Updated: Aug-06-12 1:10 PM EST --

Hello, first time poster here. I did not even know there was a forum. So, here is my questions. I'm going to the outer banks in N.C. for vacation next week. I have 2 touring kayaks that we want to take with us. The problem is one of our paddles has broken and I am in need of a replacement ASAP. Can anybody recommend a place of purchase near Frederick Maryland, or fast shipping internet sites, or possibly a place in the outer banks when we arrive. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also recommendations on covering the opening of the kayak during travel to keep rain etc. out are welcomed.


Cockpit covers
Unless the kayaks will be carried deck-down, bring cockpit covers in case of heavy rain.

I’ve used both the coated nylon type and the all-neoprene type. The coated nylon gets beat up badly from flapping even fully tightened. I recently got a neoprene cover, which is tighter and, of course, stretchy. But you need to get the latter sized (not precisely, but they’re not one-size-fits-all) for your coaming. The downside is that mine (SnapDragon) has no attachments to secure it to the deck rigging. I would add a belly strap to it.

You need to have a back-up attachment for times when you neglect to fasten the cover adequately, or for when the wind really plays havoc. I lost a nylon cover that I had not tied to the rigging. Other times, the nylon cover ended up flying off the coaming but still tethered to the kayak. So they don’t always stay put where they should.

Answer depends a bit on what you’re looking for. If you just need something basic and functional, your best bet would probably be somewhere such as REI/Hudson Trail/etc. I don’t know the scene in Frederick these days, but there is an REI and a Hudson Trail on Rockville Pike in Rockville, MD, which is just a quick jaunt down 270.

If you’re looking for something more high-end, the closest retail paddle shop to you is probably Potomac Paddlesports, which is also in Rockville.

If you want something in the NC Outer Banks, try Barrier Island sea kayaks. I’d call ahead first though, as their retail operation isn’t very large. You might be able to rent something from them as well.